Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

WAGGGS’ Global Action Theme (GAT) is girls worldwide say together we can change our world”. It affirms WAGGGS’ commitment to the most compelling global agenda of our times: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The WAGGGS initiative encourages girls, young women and members of all ages to make a personal commitment to change the world around them. 

Ending poverty was the historic promise made by 189 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. Through eight interlinked areas of focus, the aim is to improve the lives of the poorest people in the world as well as raise awareness in everyone about these issues. All UN member states signed up to measurable targets with clear deadlines, the ultimate deadline being 2015, by which all goals should be achieved.

MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

The aim is to halve the number of people living on less than US $1 a day and halve the number of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.


MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education


MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

The aim is to make sure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.


 MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower WomenMDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

The aim is to remove gender difference in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and at all levels by 2015.

There are four points that are used to measure progress towards the goal:

  • The ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
  • The ratio of literate women to men in the 15 to 24-year-old age group
  • The share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
  • The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality

 MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Child Mortality (death) means, in this case, the death of infants and children under the age of five. The aim is to reduce the mortality rate among children under five by two thirds.


MDG 5: Improve Maternal HealthMDG 5: Improve Maternal Health

Maternal health includes family planning, preconception, prenatal and postnatal care. The aim is to reduce the maternal mortality (death) ratio by three quarters.


MDG 6: Improve Maternal Health MDG 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other disease

The aim is to halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS and the number of cases of malaria and other major diseases by 2015.



MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

The aims are:

  • Add the values of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources by 2015.
  • Reduce by half the number of people without sustainable access to safe
  • drinking water by 2015.
  • Achieve major improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020.

 MDG8: Develop a Global Partnership for DevelopmentMDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The key aims of this goal are to achieve the following points by 2015:

  • Develop further an open trading and financial system that doesn’t discriminate. This includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction both nationally and internationally.
  • Address the least developed countries’ special needs. This includes free access for their exports; debt relief for poor countries in the worst debt; cancellation of official joint debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to reduce poverty.
  • Deal with developing countries’ debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term.
  • In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth.
  • Provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.

WAGGGS, alongside other NGOs and civil society, must act to ensure that governments keep their promises and must contribute to achieving these goals.

WAGGGS encourages everyone to take action and change the world around them. Beginning at a personal level, how can you challenge your friends and family to get involved? At a national level, how can your organization influence your community? 

WAGGGS has shown its commitment to helping achieve the MDGs by developing the GAT Badge curriculum to raise awareness about the issues. All of our advocacy work is now focused on the MDGs and our annual World Thinking Day is dedicated to one of the MDGs each year.

Millennium Development Goals and WAGGGS Messages

Based on the UN’s eight MDG topics, WAGGGS has created inspiring and youth-friendly messages that can be used at GAT events and in activities.

MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger girls worldwide say “together we can end extreme poverty and hunger

MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education

girls worldwide say “education opens doors for all girls and boys”


MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women girls worldwide say “empowering girls will change our world”
MDG 4: Reduce child mortality girls worldwide say “together we can save children’s lives”
MDG 5: Improve maternal health girls worldwide say “every mother’s life and health is precious”
MDG 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases

girls worldwide say “we can stop the spread of AIDS, malaria and other diseases”

MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

girls worldwide say “we can save our planet”
MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development girls worldwide say “we can create peace through partnerships”

Learn about the MDGs

As a comprehensive introduction to the MDGs, the UN has created an online course: ‘Core Concepts of the MDGs’. This free course will give you a broader understanding of the MDGS.

Find out more about the Global Action theme, how to take action and download the badge curriculum and guidelines.

Your comments

View oldest comments first View oldest comments first

Lolo - 28 August 2014 - 5.27PM (GMT)

South Africa is still better in giving children better education. 85% of children are getting basic education skills with better educators.They are receiving free meals at school everyday and free uniform and stationery.The needy learners are also benefitting as they get food parcels every time

lois anku - 28 February 2012 - 5.39PM (GMT)

I appreciate how you have simplified the MDGs goals related to the guiding has given some of us more understanding about the whole MDGs and how to go about it in guiding..

thanks for the good works..

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